…Hapiness is a four letter word…few letters short for me.

Obviously I went to see the South African film adaptation of Cynthia Jele’s book Happiness is a four letter word. And yes I had read the book. Every time I hear there will be a film adaptation of a book I once read, I always tell myself I will not spoil the images I have created for myself by going to the cinema. Nonetheless in the chi of supporting all things local, which I am a huge aficionada of I went to see the film.

I was not going to do it alone so I dragged a friend who had not read the book, perfect! More balanced sight.

We all know Novels are frequently adapted for films nothing new there, however as the book enthusiast that I am, I always entreat whatever it is that they do they don’t murder the book. There I was in my late Valentine outfit, popcorn in one hand slush in the other ready to indulge.

I enjoyed the movie but cannot refer to it as brilliant.

What’s with the noise, clapping and ululating?

I had to double check if I was still in the correct cinema; the way the noise levels escalated I thought I had been bewitched back to Site B at some bioscope house. I don’t know what it is with South Africans when watching something that they sort of relate to or anything South African, they tend to be loud, I mean we are all excited but what’s with the clatter?

Whatever happened to Tumi and Tshepo?

I get it! Budget doesn’t always allow, but to cut two whole characters? The book I read Nandi is an Accountant; the Nandi on the screen was a lawyer never mind that. Princess a lawyer and an activist turned into a gallery owner huh? Zaza the spoil uneducated primadonna played by the multi-talented Mbau faired quite closely with the book.

Storyline, content all over the place

At some point I didn’t know what was what. Yes, yes I am one of those hard to please, give it your all kind of a person. I was quite surprised to know Cynthia was involved in the making of this film, how could she allow such? Were royalties worth it.? Why did they not bring in the part where Princess goes back home to reconcile with her father? Am I the only one who thought there was a good story to tell there?

I know right about now you thinking why am I like this? Why do I like critiquing as if there’s anything I am half good at? I am asking myself the same question. I also know that we South African really appreciate mediocre in whatever form, if one dares to criticise constructively or not it’s seen as hating. And you wonder why we are where we are still.


Not all was gloomy; the cast was brilliant, prodigious actors and actresses. The scenery almost Hollywood like a bit plasticy with a hint of superficial but well. The soundtrack wonderfully selected.

if you don’t believe go check the oohh’s and aahhs on social media.


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